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The city of Bühl is part of the district of Rastatt in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It has a history reaching back to the twelfth century and was formerly an agricultural town, especially famous for its plums. Bühl has a population of about 29,000, and is in the region between the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest.
Today it is mainly an industrial town, especially in the car manufacturing supply industry. Yet it still has preserved its character and is also renowned for its good restaurants.
Bühl is a town in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 10 km (6.2 mi) South of Baden-Baden. Bühl is the third largest town in Rastatt County (Landkreis), after Rastatt itself and Gaggenau. Due to its location, size and importance it has become a central place for numerous towns, townships and villages in the neighbourhood. Bühl was proclaimed a major district town (Große Kreisstadt) on 1 January 1973, after it lost its status as an independent county seat during municipal reforms in Baden-Württemberg. Bühl has agreed to form a joint administrative community with the municipality of Ottersweier.
The word Bühl is derived from Old German "puhil" and Middle German "buhel", meaning "hill". The three yellow hills on blue ground seen on the coat of arms (already displayed in the court seal of Bühl in 1324) confirm this interpretation.
To distinguish Bühl from other towns named Bühl, not only in Germany, but other German-speaking countries like Switzerland and Austria, the town used the denominator Bühl (Baden) or Bühl/Baden, clearly identifying Bühl in the Margravate of Baden (Baden) and later in the Grand Duchy and the State of Baden. With the unification of Baden, Hohenzollern and Württemberg in 1952 forming the state of Baden-Württemberg and later the introduction of postal codes there was no need anymore for the denominator Baden. However, it is still used frequently.
This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose.You can help by converting this article to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available.(October 2009)
1148/49 Bühl is mentioned in a document for the first time "L. de buhel".
1200–1220 Windeck Castle was built.
1283 Oldest secured recording of the town's name Bühl. The esquire Burkhard of Crutenbach hands over his belongings „in banno Buhel“ to the abbey and convent of Schwarzach.
1324 Bühl is mentioned as a town with court-house, a mayor, twelve men at court, with a coat of arms - three yellow hills on blue ground.
1370/71 During a feud between the knight Reinhard of Windeck with the city of Strassburg the town of Bühl und the villages in the vicinity of Bühl were seriously affected.
1386 Margrave Rudolf VII. acquires the Northern part of Bühl.
1403 King Ruprecht of the Palatinate awarded knight Reinhard of Windeck with the right to hold a weekly market in the town of Bühl. From then on Bühl was known as market town or Flecken Bühl.
1514–1524 Construction of the oldest church in Bühl consecrated saints Peter and Paul (since 1880 city hall)
1582 Oldest record about the settlement of Jews in the town of Bühl.
1561 Windeck Castle is mentioned as a ruin. The knights of Windeck were living in a palace house in Bühl, nowadays the location of the hotel and restaurant Badischer Hof.
1592 With the death of the young aristocrat Jacob of Windeck the family of the knights of Windeck died out in their male line.
1622 During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) troops from Croatia (Part of the Catholic Liga) conquered Bühl, killed numerous inhabitants, and burned the town to ashes.
1632–1634 and 1643 Troops from Sweden occupied Bühl.
1689 During the Nine Years' War (War of the Grand Alliance) the newly rebuilt town of Bühl was again destroyed completely by French troops.
1703–1707 During the War of the Spanish Succession Bühl became again a focal point of the war. At the so-called Bühl-Stollhofen defense line, a 20-mile long barricade, which was built and defended under the command of Margrave Louis William of Baden (Ludwig Wilhelm), a French army was held back successfully in 1703. The line was eventually conquered in 1707.
1776 With the purchase of the Southern part of Bühl, a fiefdom owned by the family of Waldersdorff at that time, through Margrave Karl Frederick of Baden (Karl Friedrich) all of Bühl was in the hands of the House of Baden.
1788 The county seat in Steinbach (previously called Yberg) is relocated from Steinbach to Bühl.
1813 The county of Bühl is converted to the district of Bühl.
1822/23 Construction of the synagoge, the new Jewish school.
1835 Grandduke Leopold of Baden awarded the Flecken Bühl the title Town with all corresponding rights.
In about 1840 a new species of plums was found in Kappelwindeck, which was more resistant and ripened faster than other plums. It was named Bühler Early Plums (Frühzwetschge), which soon found its way into markets all over Germany and Europe. It helped the town to overcome significant financial losses after the decline of the hemp industry, a major source of income in Bühl prior to the availability of cotton.
1846 Bühl is connected to the train line connecting Baden-Oos and Offenburg.
1848/1849 Civil Revolution. Major Josef Häfelin fled Bühl
1856 The first Protestant church was built.
1863 The County of Bühl became part of the District of Baden.
1873–1876 Construction of the new catholic church Sts. Peter and Paul after a design by Karl Dernfeld.
1879–1880 Reconstruction of the old parish church into the new city hall.
1902 Construction of the central water system.
1919 Founding of the Fruit Cooperative (OAG).
1920 Introduction of electric light.
1924 The county of Achern is resolved and its remains were integrated into the county of Bühl
1926–1934 Construction of the sour system.
1927, 6–8 August, Bühl celebrated its first annual Plum Fest.
1928 The first movie theatre opened in Bühl
1933 The municipal council is replaced after the Nazi party NSDAP gained control over the country via new legislation called Gleichschaltung.
1934 Kappelwindeck became part of Bühl.
1938, 10 November. The synagogue in Bühl was destroyed. Jewish citizens of Bühl were harassed.
1939 The county of Bühl became the district of Bühl.
1945, 14 April, French troops marched into Bühl.
1946, 15 September, First free municipal counsel since 1933.
1971–1973: After integrating 9 neighboring villages into the town of Bühl the population reached the critical mark of 20,000 inhabitants. The government of Baden-Württemberg awarded Bühl the title "Große Kreisstadt" on 1 January 1973. The district county of Bühl was dissolved. Its area to the North was incorporated into the district of Rastatt, its Southern area incorporated into the district of Ortenau. The three towns of Steinbach, Neuweier and Varnhalt became a part of the county town of Baden-Baden.
Geographically, Bühl extends from as low as 123 to 1,038 meters (453 – 3,823 feet) above sea level in a three-step panoramic landscape, divided into the Rhine valley, an extended foothill zone, and the mountain range of the Black Forest, the latter with a panoramic view across the Rhine Valley into the neighbouring Alsace and to the Vosges in France. The lower flat part is mainly used for agriculture, the hilly zone is dominated by wine and fruit plantations, and the mountain forests are used for lumber. Bühl is located on both sides of the Büllot/Bühlot, a creek originating in the Northern Black Forest, which is renamed Sandbach after it has passed the town of Bühl on its way to the River Rhine.
The following towns and municipalities border the town of Bühl starting clockwise in the North. Baden-Baden (district town), Forbach, Lauf (Ortenau County), Ottersweier, Lichtenau, Rheinmünster and Sinzheim, all of them Rastatt County. The town of Bühlertal is completely surrounded by Bühl, forming an inclusion or enclave in the eastern part of the town of Bühl.
The area of the town of Bühl is divided into downtown Bühl and the suburbs of Altschweier, Balzhofen, Eisental, Kappelwindeck, Moos, Neusatz, Oberbruch, Oberweier, Vimbuch and Weitenung. Except for Kappelwindeck, the aforementioned villages became an integral part of town of Bühl during the municipal reforms in the early 1970s. These townships are subordinated to the town of Bühl, each with its own administrative head, called Ortsvorsteher. Bühl and Kappelwindeck were already united in 1934 forming the town of Bühl, with Kappelwindeck about half the population of Bühl at that time. Some of these villages are the result of municipal reforms over the past centuries forming bigger municipalities from even smaller villages or hamlets prior to the reforms between 1971 and 1973. In many cases the names of these smaller villages, hamlets or estates–farms still exist, in some cases within defined areas, in some cases only known by their former names within undefined areas, nowadays residential areas. Balzhofen was formed by Henchhurst and Balzhofen, Eisental by the villages and/or hamlocks of Affental, Eisental, Horrenbach and Müllenbach, Neusatz by Bach, Fischerhöfe, Gebersberg, Kirchbühl, Neusatz, Neusatzeck, Waldsteg, Waldmatt and Wörth, Kappelwindeck by Brombach, Einsel/Einsiedel, Gucken, Kappel, Riegel, Hohbaum and Rittersbach, Weitenung by Elzhofen, Ottenhofen, Weitenung, and Witstung. Former estates such as Schlosshotel Bühlerhöhe, Burg Windeck (Windeck Castle), Kurhaus Sand, Schugshof, and Schweighof complete the list of names.
Besides the main city, there are also several smaller villages that belong to Bühl. Those are:
Kappelwindeck: Has belonged to Bühl longer than the other villages, and today it is hard to distinguish between parts of the main city and Kappelwindeck.
Altschweier: Situated in the Bühl Valley, literally translated Bühlertal, Altschweier, it is there where the first hills and the gentle vineyards begin.
Balzhofen: Located about five and a half kilometres from the main city of Bühl in the Rhine Valley. It became part of Bühl in 1973 and has about 700 inhabitants.
Eisental: Situated just at the beginning of the black forest and has got three parts: Müllenbach, Affental und Eisental. Together they have about 2000 inhabitants. Affental is where the local wine "Affentaler" comes from. Müllenbach was named already in 1070
Moos: Situated in the Rhine Valley and about 8 kilometres away from the city centre. Today it has about 800 inhabitants.
Neusatz: Situated in the Black Forest and has about 2600 inhabitants. There are at least two carnival societies.
These formerly autonomous communities were incorporated into the municipality of Bühl little by little:
Kappelwindeck was incorporated in 1934, The Burg Windeck followed in 1936.
1. Januar 1971: Neusatz (1936: Waldmatt) und Oberweier
1. Januar 1972: Balzhofen, Eisental und Oberbruch
1. Januar 1973: Altschweier, Moos, Vimbuch und Weitenung
Bühl is designated a "Mittelzentrum" (literally "middle centre") town, which mainly determines its infrastructural capabilities, such as the diversity of schools, hospitals, transportation systems, courthouse, notaries, shopping malls, etc. The serviced region of Bühl includes the municipalities of Bühlertal, Lichtenau, Ottersweier, Rheinmünster, interlaced with municipalities in the Northern Alsace. The whole area is part of Karlsruhe.